Monday, September 22, 2003

Teens left notes on arms before deaths

By The Associated Press

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. - The two teenage girls found dead last week in what police are calling a murder-suicide left notes on their arms, and neither girl's body showed signs of a struggle, according to a newspaper report.

Christian County Deputy Coroner Randy Graham would not discuss what the notes said, citing an ongoing police investigation, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported Sunday.

Graham said one of the girls also left a written note at her house that talked about a boyfriend. He said after examining the bodies, which were found in a car, it appears that Kamesha Polk, 16, placed the tip of a small, .22-caliber pistol against the right side of 17-year-old Tiffany A. Prince's chest and shot her. Polk then apparently pressed the pistol against the side of her own head and shot herself, the newspaper reported.

Police and witnesses said Prince's father found the bodies Wednesday slumped in his daughter's car in a parking lot across the street from Christian County High School, where Prince was a senior and Polk a junior.

Robert Reeves, Polk's uncle, said Saturday that his family is in mourning.

"The family ... would like to send our condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Tiffany Prince," Reeves said in a written statement. "We would also like to extend a warm thank you to all friends and family who have offered prayers ... during this tragic and unfortunate loss." He said he hopes the police will release more information to quiet rumors in the community about the nature of the girls' relationship.

Reeves said police have given the family information that could place the deaths in a different context than the impression given by the department's initial finding that Polk shot Prince and herself.

"We intend to allow the police to bring this investigation to a conclusion, and until then we won't have any further statement," Reeves said.

A friend of both girls, senior Jonathan Branaugh, said he didn't think the two teens were close. But he said Polk's mother told him this week that the girls had been hanging around together a lot in the days leading up to the shooting.

Dagney Rascoe, 17, who was in a photography class with both girls, told the newspaper that she had seen them this week, laughing and talking to each other in class.

She said while she knew both girls, she had been closer to Polk and couldn't understand what could have led to the shootings.

"She was a little sister to me," said Rascoe, a senior. "She was someone I could talk to. "Everybody's shocked, and terrified," she said.

Paul Ray, Hopkinsville Police Department spokesman, said police have ruled out the involvement of anyone else.

Whether Polk and Prince had discussed anything related to a suicide pact is unknown, he said.

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